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Species / Orthaulax


Original Description of Orthaulax by Gabb, 1873 cited from Cooke, 1922:

  • "Shell rounded-fusiform, canal moderate, straight and regularly tapering; adult shell enveloped over the whole spire by the extension of the inner lip; posterior canal fissure-like, formed by the continued edge of the outer lip and running directly to the apex. Outer lip apparently sharp and simple; anterior notch oblique and broad."

Type species of Orthaulax is Orthaulax inornatus Gabb, 1873

Orthaulax species are

Further Orthaulax species might be

not belonging to Orthaulax

History and Synonymy


Wagneria Heilprin, 1887


Description of the genus Orthaulax by Woodring, 1923, p. 4:

  • "Shell attaining a large size, fusiform, conical or ovate; cross section triangular or circular; early whorls bearing varices, entirely concealed in adult shells; after 7 to 10 volutions, outer lip extending to tip of spire and in each succeeding volution completely enveloping spire; space between spire and each enveloping whorl filled with callus; later whorls smooth, or sculptured with narrow spiral threads on and below the shoulder; aperture elliptical, gradually constricted posteriorly into a narrow channel ascending the spire; outer lip thin except at posterior end of aperture, expanded, bearing near the base a very shallow sinus; siphonal notch at base of aperture wide and very deep; anterior fasciole swollen; base of columella slender, curved backward, undercut by siphonal notch; columellar callus thickened at base of posterior channel, thinner over inner lip and extending to base of columella; base of body whorl of young shells sculptured with spiral sulci that widen toward the base."


Woodring, 1959, p. 190 on the genus Orthaulax:

  • "Orthaulax is an endemic American genus found in the Caribbean region and its borders. It is recorded from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Vieques, St. Croix, Anguilla, Antigua, Mexico, Guatemala, Canal Zone, Venezuela, and Brazil. Twelve species and subspecies have been described, but some of them are purely nominal. O. gabbi, the last species in southeastern United States, is the only species represented by a full suite of growth stages and is the only species well enough preserved to have an undamaged outer lip. The genus appears throughout its known maximum geographic range (except Brazil) during late Oligocene time and survived until the end of early Miocene. That is, it occurs in three faunal zones: one late Oligocene and two early Miocene. As suggested by Davies (1935, p. 266) the massive shell of Orthaulax strengthened by the thick parietal callus under the successively overlapping whorls, is reasonably interpreted as an adaptation to strongly surging water. Its wide distribution in the late Oligocene coincides with an equally wide development of coral reefs. It appears as suddenly as an invader and has no known immediate predecessors in the Caribbean region or elsewhere. Nevertheless it presumably arose from an Oostrombus like ancestor in the Caribbean region. A suitable facies for immediate ancestors has not yet been found in the lower Oligocene deposits of that region."


Bandel, 2007 places Orthaulax into the family Thersiteidae


  • Bandel, 2007
  • Banks, J. E., & Hunter, M. E. (1973). Post-Tampa, Pre-Chipola sediments exposed in Liberty, Gadsden, Leon and Wakulla Counties, Florida.
  • Brown, A. P., & Pilsbry, H. A. (1911). Fauna of the Gatun formation, Isthmus of Panama. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 336-373.
  • Cooke, C. W. (1920). The stratigraphic significance of Orthaulax: Geol. Soc. America Bull, 31, 206.
  • Cooke, 1922
  • Cooke, C. W. (1935). Notes on the Vicksburg group. AAPG Bulletin, 19(8), 1162-1172.
  • Cooke, C. W., Gardner, J., & Woodring, W. P. (1943). Correlation of the Cenozoic formations of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain and the Caribbean region. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 54(11), 1713-1722.
  • de Araújo Távora, V., & Fernandes, J. M. G. (2011). Estudio de los foraminíferos de la Formación Pirabas (Mioceno Inferior), estado de Pará, Brasil y su correlación con faunas del Caribe. Revista Geológica de América Central, (22).
  • Dall, 1915
  • FERREIRA, C. S. 1967 . Contribuição à Paleontologia do Estado do Pará. O Gênero ORTHAULAX Gabb, 1872, na Formação Pirabas. X- (Mollusca-Gastropoda). Atas do Simpósio sobre a Biota Amazônica. vol. 1 , p. 169 - 185
  • Gabb, W.M. 1872(1873). Description of some new genera of Mollusca; Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 24; 270-274, pls. 9-11, Fulltext
  • Gardner, J. (1924). Coastal Plain and European Miocene and Pliocene Mollusks. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 35(4), 857-866.
  • Gardner, 1947
  • Gutiérrez, L. L. (1950). Las Capas "Sorites" del oligoceno superior de Mexico y sus Foraminiferos ["Sorites" Layers of Upper Oligocene of Mexico and Foraminifera]. Boletín de la Asociación Mexicana de Geólogos Petroleros (AMGP), p. 617-630
  • Harzhauser, Piller & Steininger, 2002
  • Hatai & Nisiyama, 1952
  • Heilprin, 1887
  • Hendy, A. J., Jones, D. S., Moreno, F., Zapata, V., & Jaramillo, C. (2015). Neogene molluscs, shallow marine paleoenvironments, and chronostratigraphy of the Guajira Peninsula, Colombia. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, 134(1), 45-75.
  • Kronenberg & Burger, 2002
  • Kronenberg & Lee, 2007
  • Macsotay, O., y Olivares, I. 2015. Nuevo registro de tres especies de Orthaulax (Gastropoda: Strombidae) en las formaciones San Luis y Patiecitos del Oligoceno tardío – Mioceno temprano en el estado Falcón, Venezuela. Boletín de Geología, 37 (2): 97-106, Fulltext
  • Maury, C. J. (1918). Santo Domingan paleontological explorations. The Journal of Geology, 224-228.
  • Carlotta Joaquina Maury, 1925. Fosseis terciarios do Brasil com descripcao de novas formas Cretaceas. Servicio Geologico e Mineralogico do Brasil, Monographia 4:I-V, 1-711, pls. 1-24, 1 fold-out map Fulltext
  • Moscatelli, 1987
  • Dilce F. Rossetti, Francisco H.R. Bezerra, José M.L. Dominguez, Late Oligocene–Miocene transgressions along the equatorial and eastern margins of Brazil, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 123, August 2013, Pages 87-112.
  • Savazzi, 1989
  • Savazzi, 1991
  • Shimer & Shrock, 1949
  • Távora, V. D. A., Santos, A. A. R. D., & Neto Araújo, R. (2010). Localidades fossilíferas da Formação Pirabas (Mioceno Inferior). Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi Ciências Naturais, 5(2), 207-224.
  • C.T. Trechmann, 1941. Some observations on the geology of Antigua, West Indies. Geological Magazine, Vol. 78(2), pp. 113-124.
  • Vokes, H. E., & Vokes, E. H. (1968). Variation in the genus Orthaulax (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology, 6(2), 71-79.
  • Wenz, 1938
  • Woodring, 1923
  • Woodring, 1959

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